Friday, May 01, 2015

Book Review of Feasting on the Word: Guide to Children's Sermons by David L. Bartlett and Carol Bartlett

Feasting on the Word: Guide to Children's Sermons
by David Bartlett and Carol Bartlett
ISBN 978-0-664-23614-8
WJK Books
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Much of the Feasting on the Word resources feature highly practical worship resources for mainline churches. While focused on a practical matter of worship, the particular resource is more of a training manual on how to develop and present children's messages in church services. At the end of the text, there are a few dozen children's message manuscripts.

As one reads through this thoughtful book, one is challenged to think through a number of questions that the author's present in training their readers to work through the service. Some of those questions included are:

  • Should the person doing the children's message focus on the lectionary texts?
  • How do we develop intergenerational connections during worship?
  • What is the role of story in relationship to the children's message?
  • What issues and stories are appropriate for a children's message and what ones are not?
  • How should developmental concerns influence how you present children's messages?
  • How do you craft an effective children's message?
I enjoyed this book and its challenging the church to create better children's sermons. Yet, at the same time I know that what is here will be too heady and conceptual for many folks who deliver children's messages. This is not a book that will give you a quick fix for grabbing a children's message just before church on Sunday morning, but it will help pastor's craft children's messages with theological integrity and meaningful teaching for youngsters. All in all, a great book to have on my shelf!

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